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I guess that if you’ve whipped up a new scotch whiskey and you’re sitting around the distillery endlessly sampling it and tossing around names for this as yet unnamed scotch, eventually you’ll come up with the perfect name; “Bradan Orach”. WTF! Nope that’s not the name of the distiller or anyone who had anything to do with creating this scotch. It’s not even the name of anyone living or dead. It’s Gaelic for “Golden Salmon!” And this scotch was named in honor of the world-class salmon fishing found next door in the River Spey. I’m guessing that it probably also refers to the color of this scotch, which is sort of a pale golden salmon color.

I can’t quibble with these good folks at Speyburn as they have been producing mighty fine scotch since 1897, and they know what they’re doing. If they want to name their scotch “Golden Salmon” and put a fish on the bottle’s label, I’m just gonna have to shut my mouth, open a bottle, open my mouth and take a sip. We have already tried their Speyburn Arranta and Highland Single Malt Scotches and enjoyed them both.

This scotch comes in a clear bottle with an old timey feeling label with a picture of the distillery and a picture of a salmon. The color of the scotch, as stated previously, is a pale golden color, but I’m just not sure I see much salmon colored pink or orange in it. I just hope it doesn’t taste too fishy!?! Well, let’s open this bottle and see what it does taste like. The nose is quite subtle with the barest hint of oak. This gentle nose is reminiscent of honeysuckle, vanilla and citrus. The palate is lemony bright with almost no oak flavor at all. The smokiness is also very light with the emphasis on green apples and vanilla. The finish is just slightly spicy and oaky and citrusy and just a tad creamy and lasts a medium amount of time.

This Scotch has a very light hand and a very light body and is quite laid back with well balanced and very subtle flavors. If you’re looking for a scotch that won’t overwhelm your palate, or you’re new to the wonders of single malt scotch, this would be an excellent entry level scotch. Although it is subtle, it has all the flavors you would expect in a really good scotch and this is a really good scotch.

Speyburn Bradan Orach is 40% ABV or 80 proof and is available for a quite reasonable $24.99 in 750ML bottles.

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By George Brozowski